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Roofing Tips, Tricks and Ideas

Architectural Shingles vs 3-Tab: Are They Worth the Extra Cost?

Published by Pickard Roofing at

When you need a new roof, the shingles you choose can have a notable impact on the look and value of your home. While 3-tab shingles provide a more cost-effective option, it’s also important to consider architectural shingles before making your decision. Keep the following information on both types of shingles in mind as you compare your residential roofing options.

3-Tab Shingles

The most basic type of shingle available for residential roofs is the 3-tab shingle. These asphalt shingles are a common choice among homeowners mainly due to their lower cost. While they typically cost less than architectural shingles, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind;

  • Limited warranties: 3-tab shingles typically come with limited warranties, which means you could end up having to pay the full cost of repairs in the long run.
  • Lower lifespan: 3-tab shingles can last for roughly 25 years, while architectural shingles often last much longer.
  • Less durable: 3-tab shingles are lightweight, which makes installation easier. However, they aren’t able to withstand high winds as well as architectural shingles, and they can curl over time.
  • Uniform appearance: 3-tab shingles have the same size and appearance, which can create a uniform look that might appear flat or dull on some homes.


Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles offer an alternative to basic 3-tab shingles. These shingles are known for featuring a dimensional look that can improve the look of your home. Architectural shingles do weigh 50 percent more than 3 tab shingles, which can make installation more complex, such as if your roof needs to have structural support added. However, these shingles offer a few notable benefits you should be aware of:

  • Variety of options: Architectural shingles are available in a wide range of shingle colors, sizes and shapes.
  • Longer warranty: Architectural shingles have a longer warranty than 3-tab shingles. These longer warranties typically carry a 30 to 50 warranty against defects vs a 25 year limited warranty for 3-tab.
  • Durable: Architectural shingles are heavier than 3 tab shingles, but they’re able to handle higher wind speeds better.


Are Architectural Shingles Worth the Extra Cost?

One of the potential drawbacks of architectural shingles is their higher cost compared to 3-tab shingles. Is it worth the extra money to have architectural shingles installed on your home? We believe architectural shingles are worth the extra cost for a few different reasons, including the following:

  • Added resale value: Having architectural shingles on your home can increase its resale value, since home buyers typically prefer these types of shingles. This means you could get a higher sales price for your home when you invest in these shingles.
  • Versatile design: Architectural shingles can be made to look like other roofing materials that are more expensive, such as wood or slate. With these shingles, you can get the appearance of these materials at just a fraction of the cost.
  • High-end standard: Architectural shingles are considered the standard roofing choice for high-end homes. Choosing 3-tab shingles instead could lower the value of your high-end home.
  • Sophisticated appearance: Architectural shingles provide a more sophisticated appearance overall thanks to their dimensional look and texture.


In addition to architectural shingles, Pickard Roofing offers ornamental or design shingles for those wanting additional architectural interest such as a slate or wood shingle appearance.

Do you need more help choosing the right shingles for your home? At Pickard Roofing, we offer dependable, high-quality residential roofing services in the Raleigh-Durham area, including installations. Our experienced roofers can help you choose the ideal shingle color and design to improve your home’s appearance and value.

Get a Roofing Evaluation


At Pickard Roofing, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Roofing Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle roofing in the Triangle. Our services including residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.